The objective of this Baptized as Beloved Children Lesson Plan lesson plan is to help the youth understand and reflect on God's love for them through the sacrament of baptism and to encourage them to live their lives as beloved children of God.
Materials for Baptized as Beloved Children Lesson Plan
- Bible (Mark 1:7-11)
- Paper and pencils
- Reflection questions
Opening Activity for Baptized as Beloved Children Lesson Plan
Non-Verbal Love Gestures
Begin with a game centered around the theme of receiving affirmation of love. You may opt to utilize the suggested game provided below, or choose an alternative option.
Have the youth sit in a circle. One person will start by making a non-verbal gesture of love towards someone else in the circle. For example, blowing a kiss or giving a thumbs-up. The person who receives the gesture then repeats it to someone else in the circle, and so on. Keep going until everyone has had a turn.
After the game, ask the following questions:
- How did it feel to receive a non-verbal gesture of love from someone in the group?
- Was it difficult to come up with a non-verbal gesture of love to pass on to someone else? Why or why not?
- Did anyone come up with a gesture that they had never thought of before? What was it?
- Do you think non-verbal gestures of love are just as important as verbal expressions of love? Why or why not?
- How could you use non-verbal gestures of love in your relationships with family and friends?
As we reflect on the love we express through non-verbal gestures, let's turn to the scripture to see how God expresses His love for us. In the Bible, we see numerous examples of God's love for His people, and today we will be reading about one of those examples. As we read, think about the ways that God's love is shown to us and how we can respond to that love in our lives.
Scripture Reading for Baptized as Beloved Children Lesson Plan
Consider what we hear about declaring love in Mark 1:7-11:
This is what John the Baptist proclaimed: “One mightier than I is coming after me. I am not worthy to stoop and loosen the thongs of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
It happened in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized in the Jordan by John. On coming up out of the water he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit, like a dove, descending upon him. And a voice came from the heavens, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”Mark 1:7-11
Reflection for Baptized as Beloved Children Lesson Plan
How amazing! The Holy Spirit came down in the form of a dove, while God the Father uttered the words "You are my cherished son, in whom I am well pleased." This declaration undeniably reveals the Father's love for Jesus.
Furthermore, it's important to consider the concept of the Trinity in this context. God the Father is the one who loves, God the Son is the object of that love, and God the Holy Spirit represents the bond between them - a bond so powerful that it is its own distinct entity. So, when we read about the Holy Spirit descending in the gospel, it's actually the manifestation of that divine love.
- What stands out to you in this passage?
- How do you think Jesus felt when God the Father declared His love for Him?
- How can this passage help us understand God's love for us?
It's likely that most of us were baptized as infants and have no recollection of the event. (If someone in the group was baptized as a child or adult, you could ask them to share their experience.) Nevertheless, despite not remembering it, baptism is a powerful sacrament that accomplishes several significant things.
Firstly, it removes the stain of original sin and prepares us to receive God's presence within us. Secondly, it grants us the status of adopted children of God.
To better understand the significance of baptism, it can be helpful to imagine ourselves as infants being baptized. As the water is poured over our heads, it's like receiving a loving kiss from our Heavenly Father. He invites us into His family, instilling within us a yearning for intimacy with Him, and calls us "beloved."
Therefore, just like the Holy Spirit descending upon Jesus, our baptism serves as a symbol of God's gracious love for us.
Small Group Reflection Questions for Baptized as Beloved Children Lesson Plan
Divide the youth into small groups of 3-4 people. Encourage them to share their thoughts and feelings about being called a child of God. Ask the following questions:
- What does it mean to you to be called a child of God?
- Do you ever find it difficult to believe that God has called you "Beloved"? Why or why not?
- How does God's love for you impact the way you live in the world and interact with others?
- If you knew someone wasn't baptized, would you be willing to talk to them about what baptism means? Why or why not?
After a few minutes, ask for volunteers to share their thoughts with the larger group.
Challenge for Baptized as Beloved Children Lesson Plan
Have some paper and pencils available.
Take some space and time to compose a personal letter to God expressing your emotions and thoughts about being a part of His family. This letter is exclusively for your own eyes, and nobody else will have access to it. You are free to write whatever you feel compelled to share.
After giving them some time, gather back in.
At some point within the week, revisit the letter you wrote and add to it if you feel inclined to share more with God. Once you have reread your letter, take a moment to pray a brief but powerful prayer: "I am Your beloved. I place my trust in You."
Prayer for Baptized as Beloved Children Lesson Plan
Gather the youth in a circle and lead them in a closing prayer. Thank God for His love for us and for making us baptized as beloved children. Ask Him to help us live our lives as His children and to always remember His love for us.
Heavenly Father, thank you for loving us and calling us your children. Help us to always remember your love for us and to live our lives as your beloved sons and daughters.
More Themes for the Baptized as Beloved Children Lesson Plan
- God's love for us: This Baptized as Beloved Children Lesson Plan highlights the unconditional love that God has for us as His children, and emphasizes the importance of recognizing and accepting that love.
- Baptism as a sign of God's love: The sacrament of baptism is a visible sign of God's love and grace, which removes the stain of original sin and makes us adopted children of God.
- Being called beloved children of God: This Baptized as Beloved Children Lesson Plan focuses on the idea that we are not just any children, but that we are beloved children of God, chosen and loved by Him. It explores the significance of being called beloved and the impact it can have on how we see ourselves and our place in the world.
- Responding to God's love in our lives: This Baptized as Beloved Children Lesson Plan also emphasizes the importance of responding to God's love through our actions and attitudes. It encourages us to live our lives in a way that reflects the love of God and to share that love with others.
- Expressing love through non-verbal gestures: This Baptized as Beloved Children Lesson Plan also explores the ways in which we can express love for others through non-verbal gestures, such as a smile or a hug. It also connects these gestures to the way that God expresses His love for us through the Holy Spirit descending like a dove upon Jesus.
Background Material for the Baptized as Beloved Children Lesson Plan
Mark 16:15-20 is a passage from the Gospel of Mark,
The scripture reading for the lesson plan is taken from the Gospel of Mark, which is one of the four canonical Gospels in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. The Gospel of Mark is believed to have been written in the mid to late first century, around 70-75 AD. In Mark 1:7-11, we hear about Jesus being baptized by John the Baptist and how the Holy Spirit descended upon him in the form of a dove while God the Father declared Jesus as His beloved Son.
This passage emphasizes the concept of the Trinity and how God's love for Jesus is manifested through the Holy Spirit. This can help us understand God's love for us and the significance of our baptism as a symbol of God's gracious love for us.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church provides a deeper understanding of the sacrament of Baptism and its significance. According to the Catechism, Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit, and the door that gives access to the other sacraments (CCC 1213). Baptism removes original sin and makes us adopted children of God, enabling us to receive the Holy Spirit and participate in the life of Christ (CCC 1265-1266).
The lesson plan encourages reflection on what it means to be called a child of God and the impact of God's love on our lives. It also challenges the youth to write a personal letter to God expressing their thoughts and emotions about being a part of His family.
Overall, the lesson plan focuses on the theme of God's love and our identity as baptized children of God, drawing on the scripture reading from Mark 1:7-11 and the teachings of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
Music Suggestions for the Baptized as Beloved Children Lesson Plan
This Baptized as Beloved Children Lesson Plan fits into a larger collection of lesson plans that focus on various aspects of Catholic faith and practice. Taken together, these lesson plans offer a well-rounded and comprehensive education in the Catholic faith, and equip youth to live out their faith in their daily lives.